BEIJING – China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States was to blame for flip-flopping in bilateral trade talks, after President Donald Trump warned Beijing against waiting out his first term to finalize any trade deal, adding that if he wins the re-election, the outcome will be worse for China.
“When conducting trade and economic negotiations, the US must give up its pressure tactics. The US must prove its sincerity and act honestly to reach a trade agreement,” she noted at a briefing, RIA Novosti reported.
Earlier, as US-China trade negotiations were underway in Shanghai, Trump underlined that “the problem with them waiting … is that if and when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all”.
The two countries have been embroiled in a trade dispute since June 2018, when the US president slapped 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $50 billion in a bid to fix the bilateral trade deficit. In May, the United States intensified the trade war when it imposed a 25 percent tariff on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China, in turn, pledged to retaliate by hiking tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports in June.
Since then, the two sides have exchanged several rounds of tariffs, but signs that the conflict was nearing a resolution appeared during Trump’s meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in June. At that time, Trump stated that the United States won’t add fresh tariffs on Chinese exports. A new, 12th round of US-China trade consultations started on Tuesday in Shanghai. Negotiations reached an impasse after the 11th round, which took place in the first half of May in the United States.
The United States has been notorious for breaking already arranged or soon to be arranged agreements. One of President Trump’s first moves, right after he took office, was canceling the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). Later on, he went on to unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. Soon afterward, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) was canceled by the US President in February this year, which contributes to yet another arms race with Russia.